Another: Episode 1 -Beginning of the End

So… This is a part of an older project of mine that I had in mind. Besides writing reviews to an entire anime series – I wanted to watch each episode and talk about it.

I have a list of 60-something watched anime and I need to re-watch them all, and also new series and start writing about them. Details, spoilers will be presented ahead – so a friendly suggestion – do not read articles of episodes you plan to watch.

another_novel_coverAnother – an anime adaptation after a Japanese mystery horror novel by Yukito Ayatsuji, published on October 29, 2009 by Kadokawa Shoten.

The story focuses on a boy named Kōichi Sakakibara who, upon transferring into Yomiyama Middle School and meeting the curious Mei Misaki, finds himself in a mystery revolving around students and people related to his class falling victim to gruesome, senseless deaths.

A manga adaptation by Hiro Kiyohara was serialized between May 2010 and January 2012 in the issues of Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace. Both the novel and the manga have been licensed in North America by Yen Press. A 12-episode anime TV series produced by P.A.Works aired in Japan between January 10 and March 27, 2012, with an original video animation episode released on May 26, 2012, and a live-action film was released in Japanese theatres on August 4, 2012.

A dark, sad story, with great characters and a great soundtrack.

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The first episode “Rough sketch” – “Sobyō” (素描) was released on January 10, 2012.

Following the cliches of other horror works – like Higurashi no naku koro ni – there is a disturbing story that took place in the past. Another tells the cruel fate of a girl named Misaki who was a student 26 years ago. Shorty after entering the 9th grade she died in an accident. Shocking as it may seem – the other students behaved like she was still alive – and so it was born the so called “curse” of class 3-3.

The protagonist – Kōichi Sakakibara moves to a town called Yomiyama to live with his grandparents and his aunt Reiko Mikami. Unfortunately – he gets sick and a few weeks he spends in a hospital reading horror novels and hoping to regain his health.

One of the days – some students from his school – Yomiyama North Junior High – Izumi Akazawa, Tomohiko Kazami and Yukari Sakuragi, visit him. Their first discussion brings a note of tension – which is completed by the environements depicted in the first part of the episode, cruel, dark tones, vivid colors, the state of Sakakibara and the mystery surrounding their “interview”. From the beginning you can realize that something very wrong is happening here.

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Another scene that makes everything undoubtebly  strange is Sakakibara meeting Misaki Mei for the first time. She seems lost, she is very quiet and talks weird. And she loses herself like a shadow in the hospital’s basement where the morgue is.

The first day at school brings some aspects that seem odd. Class 3 is the only class that is ignored by the rest of the school. And after asking out about Misaki Mei – he finds out that others claim that they do not know what he is talking about. This aura of mystery surrounding this girl – makes Sakakibara seek her presence.

The ending of the episode gets again tensionate as Misaki tells Sakakibara that his class – their class is very different from the rest of the school – it is very closed to death.

[to be continued…]

Comic Art: Ethereal Details

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I can’t say I am a big fan of comics.. besides a few chapters of The Darkness and The Walking Dead – I didn’t indulge myself into anything. And I hear there are a few titles worth anyone’s time.

Maybe I should read some. With artworks like this.. who doesn’t love spiders?

Manga Madness: Higurashi no naku koro ni – Onikakushi-hen – Chapter 2

Manga Madness will be a series of articles in which I will be reviewing the manga I read. I am not really into reading manga – I prefer watching the anime – but there are a few stories that I really enjoyed and I want to get more into these stories.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

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The second chapter of Higurashi no naku koro ni – Onikakushi-hen continues with the day of the Watanagashi festival.

Maebara Keiichi and his classmates enter a tournament of games – which apparently is held each year – as a tradition – by them – in order to win various prizes and of course to enjoy the punishment game at the end. Whoever is losing must support the punishment.

It is a fun time for the characters but also time for the truth about Hinamizawa. Keiichi finds out about the murders which happen each year on this day.

Hinamizawa has a real disturbed history. There was a dam project initialized which threatened the village with complete destruction. The locals – of course, they fought back and defeated the opposing party. But strange things began happening.

4 years ago – from the present moment, the director of the dam construction team was found dismembered. The following year a couple who supported this project fell from a cliff. The man died and the corpse of his wife was never found. The next year – on the night of the festival, the Furude Shrine priest died due to an unknown illness and his wife drowned. Ultimately – the last mystery surrounds the death of a housewife who was found beaten, lifeless on the floor of her house.

And the moment for these tragic incidents to occur has come again.

Is it a curse..? Is it something premeditated.?. Are outer forces intervening into all of these?

 

Maken-ki! Season One. Guide

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I don’t usually go outside of my sphere of dark, twisted, macabre productions when choosing to watch something, especially anime, but I’ve seen a few shows that are totally off my pattern. It is also the case of Maken-ki! which currently I am obsessing over.

The anime deals with genres like comedy, ecchi, harem, supernatural and action. There are both censored and uncensored versions of this show, and you guessed, I watched it uncensored. Even if it depicts everything that is wrong with somebody who is embracing his perverted side, I find it artfully decent. It is not a great show, it is not the lammest one either. Becomes way more interesting watching it with your girlfriend. I enjoyed a few episodes like that.
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Maken-ki! tells the story of a group of students who are affiliated with magical elements. This thing makes them able to use various weapons to duel each other at Tenbi Academy, their school or to protect themselves from outer attacks.

Ooyama Takeru enters Tenbi Academy without any knowledge about the true identity of this facility. He just hopes to spend his days surrounded by girls, since the school just turned co-ed. Soon he will receive more than he wished for. From the first episode the harem element will put him into a closed triangle of women interested in him, the childhood female friend, Haruko Amaya, the girl whom he promised, Inaho Kushiya and the girl who sees in him the greatness of her “onii-chan”, Kodama Himegami. Pretty clicheic, but that is what ecchi shows have to offer. The first season and the season specials deal with a lot of nudity and themes like the summer vacation, hot outdoor baths, medical check-ups, sports events, maid cafés and battles between students.

The characters appear simplistic, holding lots of emotions hidden from the rest of the world. Only the main character doesn’t bother putting limits into his behaviour. A further note would suggest that all the male characters are defined as very sexually interested in the female characters which is directly linked with how the female characters appear in the show, voluptuous, cutely dressed and with huge boobs. Japan what?!

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The story doesn’t have much to offer besides a rivality between different clans who want the power at Tenbi. Maken-ki are the ones who protect the school and ensure the safety of all students. The main characters belong to this club. 80 percent of the show is about relationships between characters, especially females and the main character. More and more girls will be interested in Takeru… eliminating all chances of seeing a proper evolution in these characters.

Animation looks good. Colorful and cheerful as how a happy, stupid ecchi anime should me. The art is impressive. The characters are well drawn. The anime was adapted by the manga written by Hiromitsu Takeda. He did paid attention in the female anatomy classes!

The soundtrack sounds good. There a few emotional pieces, piano and violin, the best instruments to be used in an anime.

I began watching the second season too, from the first three episodes looks better than the previous season and the story is a little bit more interesting. Of course the nudity is still a strong point, as in any softcore porn show, lol.

Useful links:
Maken-ki! My Anime List
Maken-ki! Wiki
Maken-ki! Wikipedia
Maken-ki Manga
Watch Online Uncensored

CG Art By Yeonsi

CG (computer graphics) refer to digital artwork that became a phenomenon that spread around the world. Starting in Japan with the release of dojinshi/manga style games – the success of this type of art was inevitable. Experienced and inexperienced computer programmers and not only fell into it’s miracle. Artists used different types of software in order to create 2D images that explain the depths of their imagination.

Yeonsi is a Korean CG artist that uses humanoid forms for his characters. There’s a sense of RPG incorporated in his works since he depicts elves, rogues, warriors, predominantly females. A sense of detail struck each of his works.